By Jodie Lynn
My seven-year-old twins are very competitive with each other in everything they do. It's actually becoming a noticeable problem in school and home. What's the best way to get this straightened out before they get older and it causes hardships between them?
ANSWER FROM READER:
Our eight-year-old twin girls did everything together, including all extra-curricular endeavors until the competition got way out of hand. We found that if we allowed them to choose things on their own, instead of trying to make schedules easier on us by having them sign up for the same thing, they excelled in their own special talents for very different hobbies. In fact, it even took the bitterness out of the over-zealous competition that many siblings go through. Always keep in mind that just because they are twins doesn't mean that they have to compete in the same sport or activity in school, at home and in life. - Belinda Melody in Nashville, TN
Competition between siblings are always going to be a part of growing up. However, if it's turning into something negative and sends out unhealthy vibes between the two of them, talk with their teachers and other family members about keeping a positive outlook regarding each child's accomplishments. For example, if one performs much better in an activity, school work, or whatever, try to emphasize a balance during the praise process by making sure that the other child also receives just as much interaction with positive feedback and compliments when a specific effort or goal is achieved. Watch carefully as your seven-year-old's participate in various activities. Find which one is best for each child and concentrate on that specific area for that individual. This will allow for a new level of self-confidence to be established. Try to spend individual time with each one so that their strengths and talents can be encouraged and will continue to grow into a positive sense of competence.
CAN YOU HELP?
One of our kids, a daughter, age eleven, is attending the gifted and talented program at their elementary school. Her test scores indicated that she needed this type of environment. Our other child, a son, age nine, didn't quite make it. He is very bitter and really acting out with horrible behavior. While we know it will take time for them to resolve their new-found differences in academics, what can we do to try and make things as normal as possible between them again?
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